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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, March 23, 2017

12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

                                 1.   Municipal Court Jury Selection Process Change
                                 2.  Chronic Nuisance Property Code Change
      3.  Vacant Residential Registration Code Change
March 23, 2017
Medford Room, Medford City Hall
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks, Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine, Kim Wallan and Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Brian Sjothun; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard; Finance Director Alison Chan; Municipal Court Clerk Denise Bostwick; Police Chief Randy Sparacino; Police Corporal in Code Enforcement Tom Venables
Municipal Court Jury Selection Process Change
Finance Director Alison Chan requested changing the current jury management process.  She outlined the current process and noted the proposed revisions will utilize the new software, eliminate the four‑month “on call” requirement.  The change also provides a 24-month period after service wherein a juror cannot serve again.
Council agreed to move forward with the Code amendment on April 20, 2017.
Chronic Nuisance Property Code Change/Vacant Residential Registration Code Change
City Attorney Lori Cooper spoke regarding recommended revisions to the Medford Code regarding vacant residential registration and nuisance properties, noting the changes are for maintenance and to add a security requirement.
  • Current Code enacted in 2009
  • Prohibits boarded-up windows
  • Allows the City to abate
  • Code is directed more toward properties owned by lenders
    • If property is owner occupied or in an estate, owners are generally willing to work with the City and are fairly easy to contact
  • Registering vacant residential properties identifies homes that may become a nuisance
Council comments, suggestions:
  • Condense the language, especially if the information will be distributed to the public
  • Councilmembers disagreed on whether to reduce the number of days before abatement
    • Need to get these properties fixed as soon as possible
    • Need to protect property rights and civil liberties
  • Placing stickers on the windows of vacant property could create more squatters
  • It should be easier to determine nuisance
  • Are there adequate resources to fund compliance
    • Revision enhances Police’s ability to respond to nuisance properties and streamlines the process
    • There is adequate staff to deal with the current requests for services
    • Requiring a plan for compliance should increase compliance
  • Should the revision include the property owner too
Councilmember Stine requested a revision to four complaints in 120 days, versus 90 days.
Council agreed with the revisions; the issue will be on the April 20 agenda.
The meeting adjourned to an Executive Session at 12:35 p.m.
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder

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